Agent Carter 02x09
A Little Song and Dance
There is so much to say about this scene I haven’t even processed it all yet. After watching it a few times, I keep picking up on something new. I do think the staging and the lyrics/who gets to sing them are very deliberate- I don’t think the writers just threw this together. In any case, very fun to (over)analyze! So read on if you’re into Carterwood/Cartinelli!
1. The fact that Peggy has a dream about who she’s in love with and it’s set at the Automat is very revealing. They could have set it anywhere and still had Angie come back- its a dream! But they chose the Automat- a central focus of S1 and of Peggy’s life in New York with Angie and Dottie. Having the dream set here could mean a longing/desire on Peggy’s part for that other life or the other side of her.
2. Just as she’s about to kiss Sousa, Angie grabs her, leads her up a staircase of women, while singing “two hearts waiting, stop debating.” She then spins her into Dottie who says, “Oh, Peggy. I’ll always be in your head.” Also note Dottie appears in an Automat uniform, which had to be a VERY deliberate choice. Dottie could have appeared in any outfit. You could make the argument that the “two hearts” are not Sousa and Wilkes at all, but Angie and Dottie instead.
3. Dottie and Peggy turn away from each other in this very mirrored way, symbolizing their two sides of the same coin/counterpart trope. Peggy’s solo comes immediatlely next, as if prompted by seeing Dottie, where she sings about not being able to “fight the laws of attraction” and “the chemical reaction that got us in this mess.” Yes, Sousa and Wilkes are dancing with her, but they don’t interact with her like a romantic duet. The choreography of this scene is very much like any male actor from an old 40s movie who just has beautiful women as backup dancers. But since its Agent Carter, Wilkes and Sousa are now the beautiful back up dancers. As she spins in Wilkes and Sousa, she says “they’re both a nice distraction, now I clearly see it’s up to me.” You could still definitely argue Peggy’s solo is about her feelings for Dottie and/or Angie.
4. They have Angie deliver the “happy ever after” line as she’s pulling Peggy close to her, but then pushes her away. I think this could be interpreted a few ways- 1. Angie is her happy ever after, but then pushes her away because she’s sick of waiting for Peggy to decide. Or 2. Angie delivers the line kind of sarcastically, pulling Peggy in and saying “happy ever after” with Wilkes or Sousa and then pushing her because Angie knows that’s not what Peggy really wants.
5. Other than the, “they’re both a nice distraction” line, there are no other lyrics that make it sound like her choice is only between two people. I think it’s entirely possible the scene is referencing Peggy’s “decision” between Dottie, Angie, Wilkes AND Sousa.
6. However, in the grand finale, Peggy is walking through the back of the crowd, where you’ll notice Dottie still is. She walks past Dottie and Angie as she makes her way back to the front of the stage, and the camera angle makes it so Peggy appears to be between them. But then Wilkes and Sousa are no where to be found for the rest the number.
7. Why she sees Jarvis surrounded by Whitney, Ana and Dottie in the show girl costumes? That’s something else entirely that I have no explanation for lol.